Was Pipe Actually Firing...In May? - Stab Mag

Was Pipe Actually Firing…In May?

We asked around.

elsewhere // May 3, 2023
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 2 minutes

About a week ago, Pipeline had a late-season flare up, and GoPro assassin Conor Kennedy snagged the wave of the day. It would’ve been fair to assume that was to be the last (real) swell of the North Shore season. In late April, proper Backdoor waves are a hot commodity.

But here we are, it’s the first week of May, and another circular blast of wind in the Northen Hemi has conjured some certified second-reefers.

But, was it actually good? Or was there too much sand on the reef? We asked a couple friends. 

“For the most part the good ones were few and far between,”  Kuio Young, Stab’s Hawaiian informant tells me. “Kelly told me he’d rather surf somewhere else, I know he didn’t end up paddling out. But, I know John John and Barron found some good ones.

Every year there are swells like this, it just depends how late they come. If it’s super late, the sand moves back in. These swells are always trippy, they peak super quick and drop super fast,” Kuio continues

“There were definitely some second reefers at Pipe. It was really backwashy this morning, before the sand moved. It’s so dangerous when it’s like that. Honestly, people that surf Pipe when it’s washy either deserve a lot of credit, or they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.”

One of the people who definitely deserves a lot of credit is Barron Mamiya — who recently managed to stay on tour with a last minute cut-hop at Margies.

“I paddled out at first light and it was pretty bumpy but there were some crazy ones,” he says. “Once the bump started to go away it got really good. Coming home from Oz I was just gonna be stoked if I got to surf little Rockies or something. To surf firing Pipe in May is unheard of. Everyone went to Tahiti for the swell too, so it wasn’t that crowded.”


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